Will Joseph Cook’s album Sweet Dreamer is bubbly indie pop bursting at the seams. The preceding singles like Girls Like Me showed the Tunbridge Well lad’s aptitude for floor filling indie hits. His debut is an eclectic set of songs held together by synths and common themes of love and loss as a teenager.
Whilst the eponymous track, Sweet Dreamer and the likes of Habit appear to be poles apart they’re part of Cook’s appeal. The Will Joseph Cook stamp is firmly on all the songs but they all have a life of their own. Take Me Dancing is a welcome addition to the album after it’s successful run through the UK festival circuit last summer. The song has airs of The Magic Gang but with far more upbeat lyrics that you might even find on a HAIM album.
Biggest Fan opens with some definite elements of beach bum indie, I can just tell it’ll go down a storm with the festival crowds this summer especially with that chorus, who could resist wrapping an arm round their friends and singing along?
There’s no clear point where the album peaks but For Thursday arguably strikes balance best. The backing vocals and guitar riffs make the song upbeat and bouncy which juxtaposes harsher lyrics in a way Little Comets have mastered. The bleak contrasts the positive and from this comes a refreshing take on a sadder song where WJC could’ve taken to an acoustic guitar and slowed it down to a ballad.
The immediate plucky bass of Girls Like Me make it so catchy and the chorus cemented it as a permanent addition to Cook’s setlist. There’s bits of slacker indie in the lyric delivery whilst the backing vocals and the bridge take the song to higher tempo that take it to indie pop heights and therefore all the more appealing live.
The final song Water’s Gone Cold is a bittersweet ending to the album. It’s poignant and truly reflects the power of Cook’s voice in a more raw way than the other songs allow. There are hints of deeper topics than that discussed on the rest of the album and perhaps teases what we could be seeing in the future.
This is his first album and a lot of the tracks hint at it being a summer classic like Circa Waves’ debut. With a May tour coming up quickly and a packed festival circuit it’ll soon become apparent which songs work best in his bustling crowds.